Former: Master carver with over five decades of experience under his belt, keeper of the Danish classic/neoclassical flame, and, for those of you who have never had the pleasure of meeting him, a man with a delightfully wry sense of humor. During one of our chats at a CPCC show, Hans commented, “Bear, you have some talent as a writer, but you say everything is “wonderful, handsome, and well-shaped”, it’s a bit much, don’t you think?” “But Hans, I say all of those things, and more, about your pipes.” Former thought for a tick, “Well, in the case of my pipes, it’s true”. Indeed.
TYGER, tyger, burning bright, in the forests of the night. What immortal hand or eye, could frame thy fearful symmetry? It doesn’t take a ton of imagination to frame this stunning Former Horn within the opening lines of William Blake’s immortal verse. While the lines and symmetry of this amazing clarion aren’t fearful, they are graceful and perfect. The quality of the crossgrain is such that it lends credence to the myth of some cats being able to coax birds down from the trees; just look at the amazing birdseye in picture #s 3, 4, 8 and 9. The last line of the second stanza in Blake’s poem posits a question which could also be easily applied to this Former masterpiece: ”On what wings dare he aspire? What the hand, dare seize the fire?!” The answer is obvious: the hand of any collector searching for an extraordinary briar to anchor his collection.
--R. ‘Bear’ Graves